First signs that the purity of census results may be swayed by internet campaigning emerged this week, as the Twittersphere declared itself opposed to Jediism. Elsewhere, Jewish organisations were urging people to put themselves down as Jewish, in order to increase pressure for more Jewish faith schools. Earlier this week, as …
Jedi is too cliché
The religion of choice in this case should be, of course, Cthulhu Cultist!
Tombstone as, in strange eons, even El Reg may die...
Save us from evangelist atheists.. (in fact, evangelists of any flavour).
Can you be a fundamentalist atheist? Is there a definable quantity of disbelief?
Re: Just wondering
They believe Richard Dawkins is the saviour.
SB is right, but you can get PITA ones, they are as iritating as the god bothers.
re: just wondering
For more information, you may wish to confer, well.... just about every comment section for every Reg article touching on religion ever.
You will probably make the corollary finding that nothing in today's comments will be enlightening, interesting, or even new.
There may be no shades of grey between belief and disbelief but there is certainly a fundamentalist atheist camp who angrily insist that everyone must share their disbelief. But I think most atheists don't really care what others believe and don't let it spoil their day.
Atheism is typically (almost overwhelmingly) an absence of belief in the supernatural in general rather than a positive disbelief in any specific branch of the supernatural. The vast majority of people with a positive disbelief are those with a different religious faith, so somebody with strong Christian faith will positively disbelieve in Brahman, for example.
I'm not sure it makes any sense to talk about a "fundamentalist" absence of faith.
One could conce of fundamental atheism. Burning anything that hints at religion, bombing churches, etc.
But athiests don't tend to do organisation - they don't have to appear in q building once every week for fear of upsetting a bogey-god.
I believe the phrase you might be looking for is "Anti-Theist".
I recommend a documentary called "The God who Wasn't There" as a good descriptive source, but in short an Anti-Theist is someone who actively works against religion in an effort to reduce or eliminate its presence in society. Generally they characterise religion as a mental deficiency, a virul meme or a social control method. Dr. Dawkins is a prominent Anti-Theist.
Sorry Ms. Bee, but I think there are quantifiable degrees of 'atheism' and fundamentalism/extremism can certainly be present in such philosophies, as with any form of belief, be it scientific, nationalistic or religious. Fundamentalism is dangerous no matter where it originates or what its core cause may be.
No, unless you're misusing fundamentalist
If you mean rabidly evangelical, then yes.
No offence to anyone with rabies.
Atheism is a loaded term as it suggests that you actually recognise a coherent notion of 'God' in which you disbelieve. For example the statement 'I believe in God', of itself, has as much meaning to me as 'Purple kicks badgers kindly'.
If someone describes something along the lines of the infantile anthropomorphic concept of an old Anglo-Saxon guy with a big white beard who lives in the sky, then 'no' I don't believe it. However within the context of the census question, ticking the atheist box is like defining yourself against a bunch of unverifiable propositions.
Theological non-cognitivist it is then!
Re: Theological non-cognitivist
It doesn't suggest that at all. It's neutral, not anti.
Etymologically you are strictly correct...
...however there is a common interpretation that anyone declaring themselves an atheist (the 'a' simply meaning without) accepts the existence of an understandable concept of 'God' in which they do not believe. Some who call themselves atheists will even happily argue with religious people along these lines.
Consistent theological noncognitivists require a discussable definition of God before they can even being to argue for or against the existence of such a metaphysical being.
Beg to differ...
Although I hate to disagree with our all-powerful Moderatrix, I would say yes, you can be a fundamentalist Atheist.
Your problem here appears to be that you define Atheism as a lack of belief, which is not the case. Atheism is a belief that there is no god. It would be all too possible for a group of Atheists to say, for example, "Anyone who follows a religion is stupid and must be killed", and launch a war on religion.
I am Agnostic. I would say a person without beliefs would be Agnostic, but I don't believe that.
Re: Beg to differ...
Everything in that comment is wrong, but I'll leave it to someone else to explain why. Or you could just read the other comments which have already pointed it out.
Re: Just wondering
Yes. If you take atheistic conceits to a purely selfish extent you get nihilism.
Not that I think either atheism or nihilism are necessarily selfish.
Actually Sarah if your read The God Delusion, Richard Dawkins defines just such a scale, ranging from fundamental believer all the way to fundamental atheist.... I highly recommend you have a read of this truly superb book.
Personally I think everybody should be compelled to read it*
*this is because I am 6.99999999999 on the scale!!
Re: Beg to differ - Atheism is a belief that there is no god
Nope, atheism is a lack of belief. This is an old crutch pulled out of theists all the time. To an atheist god is no different to the easter bunny, father christmas, the monster under your bed or some being from Betelgeuse 5.
As far as atheists starting a war of theists it is extremely likely that the theists start the war, as they have done so many times in the past.
From an atheist point of view I have no problems with all the theists killing each other, I just don't want to end up as collateral damage.
I have always found it extremely amusing that the christians have a rule that says "Thou shall not kill" and then they go off and kill people anyway. Just look at one of the most christian countries in the world, the good old US of A with the death penalty and the people they kill using it. Pure Hypocrisy !
NO, no no no no no
What, I need to read your "bible"?
Fk off, I've not read the bible, and not reading this crap either!
I hardly need to be told about my beliefs from a book which is basically bashing another book.
Stop wasting my time, i'm busy with my pint.
And I beg to differ with that.
> Although I hate to disagree with our all-powerful Moderatrix, I would say yes, you can be a fundamentalist Atheist.
Fundamentalism consists of strict adherence to a set of theological doctrines. If you don't adhere to theological doctrines then you cannot be a fundamentalist.
> Your problem here appears to be that you define Atheism as a lack of belief, which is not the case. Atheism is a belief that there is no god.
Au contraire! A statement of belief may mean the same as a statement of lack of belief. If there are no apples in the fruitbowl, for example, your beliefs concerning the apple-content of the fruitbowl may be "I don't believe there are any apples in the bowl" or "I believe the fruit bowl is empty" or any number of similar statements amounting to the same thing. In much the same way atheism is a lack of belief in God *and* a belief that there is no God. No matter how you cut the belief-cake the atheist believes that the term 'God' has an empty referent.
> It would be all too possible for a group of Atheists to say, for example, "Anyone who follows a religion is stupid and must be killed", and launch a war on religion.
Whether or not it's possible to do that doesn't determine the meaning of the words 'fundamentalism' nor 'atheist'.
The Welsh have a Q17
It's about their language.
They left it blank for England so that the question numbers stayed in step.
This is a title
"In any case, the British people are quite capable of judging for themselves what box they should tick."
Except that the question "What religion are you" will often be casually interpreted as "what religion were you born into?", rather than "do you follow a religion now?". People might not know that policies are made based on the latter interpretation of the question, rather than the former, so that is the one to use.
Do you think that is so...
... when the census form specifically states as answering the questions as it would be on March 27th 2011? I mean in other words, if you aren't (or not come March 27th) practising religion, why would anyone think that they would put down one for when they were born?
How long can you go without setting foot in a Church, Temple, Kingdom Hall or other place of worship before you're officially classed as "No longer practising."?
A practising member of the C of E can (in most cases) pretty much be defined as "Was once baptised; goes to Christenings, Weddings and Funerals; may believe in God.".
I also think you may also be classed as a practising Catholic if you were baptised, may go to church in the next couple of decades and feel guilty all the time.
The state should not be funding...
...faith-based schooling. If parents want to stunt their children's ability to critically assess evidence by forcing them to believe in some mythical sky-fairy, then they can do it at their own expense; not mine.
Where faith schools get funding from... Not just from the govenment, and frankly, look at the results they get.
The results they get...
...are largely due to parental support, encouragement and expectation - in other words, the individual children involved would do well no matter which school they were in, at least in part because the parents take an interest in their education. It then becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Of course if there was funding for an explicitly atheist school with similar selection privileges to faith schools (which as far as I am aware there isn't and couldn't legally be) you might find similarly superior results.
So why should we be making any special allowances for Jews, Muslims, Christians, or any other group of gullible numpties.
We have science, we have reason, we have logic. Imaginary friends are redundant. Religious wars and sectarian bigotry have no place in the modern world.
Go away and stop trying to suck money out of the system for your special needs.
Perhaps some research might be in order?
Money for faith schools comes from congregations as well as the government, and all faith schools which receive state funding must teach according to the national curriculum. Also, faith schools tend to get better results than secular schools. So, overall, the taxpayer pay less for better educated kids... Sorry, what was your point?
What was my point?
My point was one that you must have missed. I'm not talking about results, alternative sources of funding or anything else you mentioned. I'm talking about govt funds being used to finance propaganda centres for the terminally deluded. Schools are supposed to be places that kids go to learn facts not to be brainwashed.
Forcing religion down the throats of children too young to understand is nothing less than abuse.
@"faith schools tend to get better results than secular schools"
They tend to get better pupil intakes by being in middle class areas, rather than being compelled to take all the kids from the local sink estate.
The results are nothing to do with religion.
no religion != athiest
these all say far more than 'no religion'.
As an antitheist, I'm pretty fecked off that all I can do is check 'no religion'.
If there was an antitheist and an athiest checkbox we might find that rather than settling for religion NOT having as much influence, we could get to a point were it is actively discouraged through funding... IF that is what the unwashed declared themselves.
Your options as an atheist
According to a PDF I found on www.ons.gov.uk, the question is:
What is your religion?
-> This question is voluntary
 No religion
 Christian (...)
 Any other religion, write in
(The "..." bit is different between England and Wales.)
So you can write in "atheist" is you want, if you really feel that's your religion, but personally I wouldn't want to characterise myself as someone who doesn't believe in a god any more than I'd want to characterise myself as someone who doesn't believe in fairies.
Obviously I have various beliefs and opinions, but I don't think I can summarise them in 17 characters.
So I think I'll just not answer the voluntary question.
A harder one is the "ethnic group" question, which isn't voluntary. I'll probably put down "human".
My complaint exactly.
Although I come at from a different angle (evangelical Christian) I agree that there is a world of difference between:
- No religion
An Athiest has a FAITH - albeit a faith that there is nothing.
Not spoken to many antitheists, but wikipedia (all hail) suggests that this is also a faith position.
The honest answer for most people who don't KNOW that their answer is different is "agnostic" or "don't know"
But what about
What about me, I'm an Apatheist, how many of us are bloody likely to care to tick any box in that question?
Linguistic gymnastics - nothing to see here.
"An Athiest has a FAITH - albeit a faith that there is nothing"
Sorry, but thats just bollox. A lack of faith is not a faith in itself.
There are an infinate number of things that you or I don't believe in.
The fact that you don't believe that purple turnips orbit the moon doesn't mean you have a faith does it?
Down with the Divine Order!!
Is not equal to 'Dont Care- You're just being silly."
Re: My complaint exactly.
Define 'faith'. I'm an atheist and I don't consider that this makes me a follower of a faith. I don't really get the need of people to apply religious structure to atheism and treat it like some sort of inverted religion. It is what you make it. It might be nothing for a lot of people, just a default position once you've ruled out all the possible religions.
Nice one Chris, at least he didn't try the old "Atheists are just rebellious of God" line, which I see with an increasing frequency.
Also with faith there comes an absence of evidence. There is more than enough evidence around to disprove religion, but a more thorough refutation would probably put Sarah through living hell moderating us as the flames fly here.
I think the idea of organised atheism such as humanism
Is to replace the role religion has played in coming of age rituals and organising charitable efforts in a secular way.
I have never had a problem joining up with which ever religious organisation is participating with something I want to get involved with and most active religious people are grateful if atheists help them since most people do not act on the beliefs they claim to hold.
Not all atheists are completely apathetic to the needs of others, and rituals and ceremonies have always played a part in human society.
I don't participate in organised atheism, but that's the reason why people do.
"An Athiest has a FAITH - albeit a faith that there is nothing"
Incorrect. The word a-theist literally means 'without-god' or 'no-god' if you want to be literal about it.
The connotation being that without god there can be no faith in said god.
Disproof of "Atheism is not a faith"
An Atheist believes there is no god.
There is no solid evidence that there is no god (just as there is no solid evidence that there is a god).
Faith is a belief in something for which there is no solid evidence.
Therefore, an Atheist has Faith that there is no god.
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